Raccoons, one of nature's best weather prognosticators, tend to den
up in groups when deep snow and low temperatures prevail over extended
periods. And so it was that Cooner,
our pet raccoon for nine years, had guests in her hollow beech den no more
than 30 feet from our front door.
Climbing to the high entrance to the den (to provide food) would
have been much too dangerous and the entrance was not large and from
the side of a large limb. Getting food in the hollow was a problem.
However, by joining two cane fishing poles with duct tape and attaching
a half-gallon plastic milk container (top cut off) to the pole with a strong
cord, I could fill the container with goodies and swing it pendulum-style
into the entrance.
If I allowed the bottom of the container to catch on the bottom
edge of the hole at just the right time, the container would upend in the
entrance, showering the refugees with chunks of apple, cheese and other
treats, including shelled corn.
This would require daily missions for the airlift, but our "thank you"
notes would come when Cooner would line her
babies up on the ledge of the living room picture window on an early-summer
see Cooner enjoying a bicycle ride with daughter Joan, click here.]